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SACRED REICH - Awakening

Release date August 23/19 (Metal Blade)

Every album release from Phoenix, Arizona thrashers Sacred Reich is a special event given the band's stature and the fact that they've now only issued five albums in its thirty-three year existence, this one their first in twenty-three. The pressure most definitely dialed up to come up with the goods, Phil Rind and troops have confidently stepped up with an eight-pack of intelligent and memorable tracks of classic thrash here.

Those hoping for the outright vicious thrash of their Ignorance debut will need to reset their expectations though, this one reminding this long-time fan of the Independent platter from 1993 instead. Containing a mix of (old school) speedsters and mid-tempo pounders, Rind pontificates about all sorts of social issues ('Killing Machine' - the military, 'Revolution' - capitalism and 'Divide and Conquer' - fake news) or calls for positive change ('Manifest Reality' and the title track).

What stands out most though is the quality of the music. Not a duff one in the batch, this is one of those rare releases where you'll be more than pleased to just sit back and let it playback in full. Sporting a running time of only thirty-two minutes, other bands can learn a lesson in track pruning, retaining only the cream for consumption. That said, gotta say that by modern standards this most definitely ain't the heaviest thrash out there, but dammit good song writing is good song writing. Hopefully we don't have to wait another quarter century for the next one!

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